It’s one of the most frequent questions when it comes to rock-bottom affordable gaming computing. We all know how much a high-end build can cost when trying to put together the ultimate PC.
But for those that don’t want to pay prices as comparable as a used vehicle, Gordon Mah Ung the Executive Editor at PCWorld is going to show you how to build a $360 Intel-based gaming PC.
Yep, that’s right, $360 USD, which at the time of this writing is roughly $466.98 CAD when we do the conversion.
Gordon is an expert in the industry, and as some of you might remember him from Maximum PC from back in the day, he certainly knows how to put together future-proof quality builds.
I should say near future-proof, as over time you will likely change your graphics card depending upon your requirements.
For this 2018 budget build the team at PC World are going to have to cut a bunch of corners, some of which I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
The thing I’m most concerned about is the power supply choice. I consider this important piece of equipment as the heart of the PC, and probably the component that would be 2nd or 3rd on my list depending on the motherboard and GPU choices.
In the past I’ve seen people spend $1k or more on a new build, grabbing a quality motherboard, Mice, GPU, RAM, Case, and pretty lighting, only to skimp on an unproven, substandard PSU.
Power surges are a fact of life, and a well-built power supply should be able to protect your entire rig for when something goes wrong, and manage the power draw from your system.
You wouldn’t want a cheap $50 PSU to take out the rest of your $1k-2k investment.
Even though I don’t have one in my current Sandy Bridge rig, I’ve always been a fan of the Seasonic brand of PSUs. Since they are on the pricier side, I wouldn’t expect to see anything like that in this build.
I do love the fact they are including Intel’s 8th gen CPU on the cheap despite it not being a Core i3, i5, i7 or i9 processor.
I just picked up laptop about two months ago with an i5-8250U CPU, and I can say for a mobile unit it was a solid buy.
Intel Budget PC Specs
Still, Gordon is an expert and he knows what he’s doing. The main purpose of this is to help those that can’t afford much more than the basics.
And as I’ve said before, gaming PCs aren’t limited to gamers. Even a budget build as this can outperform those big computer brands you find at big department stores, which cost more than what’s being built here.
Let’s take a look at the spec sheet:
- CPU: Intel Pentium G5400 ($71)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte B360M DS3H ($68)
- GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 GDDR5 ($90)
- Case: Logisys CS136BK ($29)
- PSU: –included with case–
- RAM: 8GB DDR4/2400 ($85)
- Storage: 250GB Seagate hard-disk drive (refurbished) ($13)
You can catch the live event online Tuesday, May, 29th at 10:00 AM PT on PCWorld’s YouTube channel. We will leave a link below so you can check it out.
I think the build will work, just don’t expect to play anything demanding with max specs. Certainly, if you are looking for an office computer or a machine for some Photoshop work, this custom PC can handle that.
I’d just be wary of that refurbished hard-drive though.